Monday, October 17, 2016

31 Days of Horror: THE EVIL DEAD (1981)

Welcome, horror fans, to Day 17 of the 31 DAYS OF HORROR! We are back with another film in our lead up to Halloween, and today we will be reviewing the classic cult horror film...THE EVIL DEAD. Enjoy!

The premise of The Evil Dead, directed by Sam Raimi (Spiderman), is simple; a group of college friends head out to a cabin in the woods, then some crazy, supernatural events take place. The opening is beautiful and uses one of Raimi's trademarks, the point of view shot, which is used to such effect cutting between something coming towards the group of students from Michigan State University, and the students themselves singing and joking around.

The cast is not the best, and you can tell from Ash vs Evil Dead how far Bruce Campbell has come as an actor since the original film. Most of the time this would be a criticism, but the movie was filmed on a $350,000 budget, meaning that this is unsurprising, as well as the fact that Raimi actually dropped out of college to film The Evil Dead. Furthermore, the less than stellar acting actually makes it feel more like a classic horror film and a sort of satirical take on the horror genre, where the rest of the trilogy eventually goes - toward clear horror-comedy.

I'm not the biggest horror fan, and I definitely appreciated the comedy elements as it has so many laughs, also using elements from classic horrors in such a vivacious way (such as the typical cabin in the woods). Due to that, I prefer Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, but this started off the franchise strongly. Also, because of the low budget, this film doesn't really contain many scares, coming mostly from jump scares, but the eerie atmosphere before the scares even happen is fantastic, and the film could do with more of this if it was going to be a proper horror film. As although the sequels are clear horror-comedies, I'm really unsure sometimes whether it really is trying to be a horror film or a horror-comedy, it needed to find its clear genre as sometimes it does take itself too seriously.

Despite the low budget, the film multiplied its budget massively, making $2.4 million, which it definitely deserved as a classic film that has definitely inspired a number of other horror comedies due to it's unique style, as despite the obvious use of tropes, they are used in such a way that is hard to replicate.

Overall, I think this film has aged poorly in terms of special effects, but considering the low budget and immense creativity involved with the film, it really is an impressive and essential watch for not only horror fans but film fans in general. Personally, it's enjoyable in the same way that Gremlins is, although I prefer The Evil Dead much more.

Chris's Score: 7.5/10

Be sure to stay tuned throughout the rest of the month! We're posting a new horror review every day all throughout October, both old and new! Check back to see what movie we'll have you covering your eyes from next!

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